I’ve had three people contact me this week concerned they had been disenfranchised. All
three had no Polling Card but two cases resolved themselves very easily. The postman delivered
one Poll Card yesterday and a phone call to the Civic Offices revealed that the other resident
was safely on the electoral roll, card or not. Well done the Royal Mail.
The third case was rather more interesting. It came from Northumberland Heath where a man had lived with his wife for the past twelve years without any electoral problems.
This time the couple did not receive Poll Cards or the letters that should have preceded them and the council said their address wasn’t showing on the system. As a result they would happily take the couple’s council tax but wouldn’t be allowed to vote.
I put the man on to Dave Easton who heads up the electoral team and in my experience an all round good egg.
Dave fixed the problem within 24 hours, a clerical error apparently. No one minds the occasional error if it is promptly put right. Dave’s reputation is intact, enhanced even, which is more than you can say for the Mayor of Newham who has still not responded to last Tuesday’s complaint.
Deciding who to vote for today was a nightmare. The lesson for the future must be Do Not Make Friends With Candidates. Voting for one feels like stabbing three in the back. I eventually found a formula which justifies my decision and I think I can happily live with it.
When I arrived at the Polling Station, Teresa Pearce’s husband and sister were just about to leave but UKIP candidate Ronie Johnson and his agent were passing through. They were persuaded to pose for a photograph.
All three of E&T’s principal parties offered me a ticket for the count but I declined them all. It’s a long night, Will Tuckley doesn’t like people taking photos and I wouldn’t know which group to sit with.
I’m sure I would be welcomed by the Labour people, always friendly even after I have skirted around the edges of upsetting them. UKIP would be OK too even though I have seen almost nothing of their local campaign and expressed some disappointment, and Mr. and Mrs. Firth would be just as good. I’m a lot less sure about their supporters. I’d feel uncomfortable that’s for certain.
So it will be the telly and Radio 4 for me and maybe it will leave me less tired on Friday than I was after the count for last year’s election.
May the best man or lady win and that I retain three friends.